Naughton ready to face boyhood club
Kyle Naughton is looking forward to facing his boyhood club when Sheffield United visit the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea City on Saturday (5.30pm).
The Swans full-back was born in Sheffield and grew up a United fan.
Naughton, 30, went on to play for his hometown club, helping them to reach the 2009 Championship play-off final where they lost to Burnley.
He joined Tottenham that summer, and then made the move to Swansea in January of 2015.
Naughton did not get the chance to play at Bramall Lane on the opening day of the season, but is looking forward to the return fixture as the high-flying Blades visit SA1.
"I was a Sheffield United fan growing up and, been in the academy, you always used to get tickets to the games. I used to go with my brother or one of my mates to Bramall Lane," he said.
"I loved every minute of my time there. Some of my best mates are the people I met through the club. I had some of the best times of my life and career "there.he has
"At that time, Sheffield United were a club that was always pushing to get into the Premier League. They had some really good players like Phil Jagielka, who went on to play for England.
"They have always been good when it comes to bringing players from youth level through to the first team. They were a really good team."
This month marks four years since Naughton made the move to SA1 from Tottenham and he has gone on to rack up 130 appearances for the Swans; the most he has made for any club during his career.
It's been a time of highs and lows. The defender was part of the squad that finished eighth in the Premier League under Garry Monk, but also experienced relegation from the top flight last term.
But Naughton is hopeful the good times will soon be back at the Liberty.
"It’s very hard to believe that I’ve been here for nearly four years," he said.
"To be fair, the time has flown and a lot has happened – both on and off the pitch. I’ve settled and started a family here – one’s in nursery now and one’s in pre-school and I’m looking forward to the future.
"Last season, I played a lot of games but it didn’t go to plan for us.
"I haven’t played as many games as I would’ve liked this season, but I just have to keep fighting and, hopefully, I can make a spot in the team my own.
"We’ve just got to try and put things right by trying to get back into the Premier League – whether that’s through automatic promotion or via the play-offs – as that’s where the club should be.
"We’ve got a good bunch of young players that are pulling in the same direction. Their quality is obvious with the football that they’re playing and, for me, we can only go from the strength to strength."